Boost for Luxembourg innovation as EU funding aid extended
The scheme enables medium sized firms to recover up to 75% of the filing fees for trademarks, and up to 50% for patents
The European Commission is extending a financial support scheme which helps small and medium-sized businesses offset the cost of patents and trademarks, in a boost for the sector after Luxembourg's main business lobby bemoaned the lack of innovation in the country last year.
The SME support fund, launched in 2021, has been extended until 2024, with a EU-wide budget of €30 million, Luxembourg's Economy Minister Franz Fayot said on Wednesday. Since its establishment, 53 Luxembourg-based companies have applied for €22,950 in assistance from the fund, Fayot said.
The measures enables small and medium-sized firms to recover up to 75% of the filing fees for trademarks, and up to half the price paid for patents, with the maximum amount that can be reimbursed per company capped at €2,250.
The EU fund exists in addition to national initiatives that subsidise innovative projects and protect intellectual property. However, a lack of private investment is stifling innovation in research and development in Luxembourg, the country's Chamber of Commerce warned last year.
The Grand Duchy is Europe's richest country, with the highest GDP per capita, but spends far less on research and development than the EU average, with countries such as France, Belgium, Germany and Sweden all outrunning it.
In 2010, private sector expenditure on research and development was €433 million, representing just 1.02% of GDP. However, by 2021, that percentage had almost halved, dropping to 0.6%, corresponding to €416 million.